Friday, March 25, 2005


What should parents of young children conclude from Go Big Ed’s hard look this week at trends toward more governmental control of the preschool years?

What should taxpayers think of the social engineering of the sandbox set that’s described in chilling detail on

What should we think of a report by the President’s Commission on Excellence on Special Education (in Education Matters) that says that 80 percent of children in special education are there simply because they haven't learned how to read, and once in special education, they rarely catch up in reading or other core skills?

Well, I think we should hire the Pied Piper – you know, the one who called all the children to come out and follow him. Only instead of leaving their homes, this time, the children will leave the public schools – and be better off.

It’s time to quit hoping the public schools will introduce young children to literacy, numeracy, good behavior and the thrill of learning, and do it ourselves . . . by starting private kindergartens.

The only thing the public schools understand is loss of revenue. The only way to cut their revenue is to cut their enrollment. The only way to cut their enrollment is to develop places for the children to go, instead.

And the only way to influence the public schools to change, and do things right, is to show them how . . . from outside their influence.

It’s time to “skim the cream” off the top of Nebraska’s incoming kindergarten class, serve their needs better, teach them reading and writing correctly, and start showing the public what solid, traditional education can do for kids.

I really do predict that a season of “creaming” in Nebraska is about to begin. I think a lot of the more stable, wealthier parents are going to avoid public schools altogether. Why? Because they’re finally seeing the problems created by standards-based education, progressivism, Whole Language, Whole Math and the stubborn refusal of public schools to group children by reading ability so that their capacities are better matched to the curriculum.

I hope it becomes a strong trend that parents of 4- and 5-year-olds who are already reading, or about to, will sidestep the public schools and put their children in private schools, or start new ones, or even innovate with some of the cool hybrids I will describe next week.

Poor-quality, out-of-home preschool experiences, and chaotic, anti-academic kindergartens, have serious long-term consequences for children: they are being denied the things they need to maximize their IQ, literacy and life potential.

But there are lots and lots of resources out there, available to help, for those who want to find a better way.

That’s why I’m calling for parents to enroll their children in private kindergartens this fall, or if none exist, to start them.

Next week, we’ll look at how you can do just that.



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